Wish you were bat? Want to Experience Echolocation? Want to try to "see" with your ears?

For my first Instructable, I will show you how to build your own ultrasonic batgoggles using an Arduino microcontroller clone, Devantech ultrasonic sensor and welding goggles for around $60 or less if you already have standard electronics components. You could also skip the electronics and make a simple bat-mask perfect to wear to the next Batman movie. In that case, the cost would only be about $15.

These goggles allow you to experience what it is like to use auditory cues like a bat and is intended for children in a science center setting to learn about echolocation. The goal was to keep costs as low as possible, avoid making the form of the interaction to be generic or unrelated to its educational purpose and to ensure that the physical form of device embodies the subject matter. For a more thorough discussion of its design, please see the project webpage.

To keeps costs and size low, an Arduino clone is built used however, but this project works just as well with pre-built Arduino microcontrollers.

These goggles were built for "Dynamic User-centered Research and Design" course in the Arts, Media & Engineering program at Arizona State University.

Step 1: Necessary Materials

-Arduino or comparable microcontroller* (if you have the money you can buy the Arduino mini/nano or use a boarduino, otherwise I will show you how to make a small and cheap Arduino clone for this project.)
-Welding goggles (Mine are "Neiko" brand and are easily found on eBay as "Flip up welding goggles" for 3-10 dollars shipped, this specific type works really well)
-Devantech SRF05 Ultrasonic Sensor (or other comparable sensor -- however, the SRF05 has a very low power consumption of 4mA and great resolution from 3 cm to 4 meters, it is about $30)
-something to make ears out of (I used plastic cones, see also: "How to build a better bat costume")
-some type of enclosure for electronics
-3/8" split seam flexible black convoluted tubing (to hide connecting wires)
-piezo buzzer that can run on 5v-9v
-assorted wires
-plasti-dip spray can (black)

Microcontroller Electronics (these components can be skipped if using a pre-built controller)
- Arduino programmed Atmega8 or 168 DIP chip.
- a spare Arduino board or ArduinoMini USB programmer
- Small PC board (available at Radioshack)
- 9V battery connector (available at Radioshack)
- 7805 5v voltage regulator
- 16 MHz crystal (available @ sparkfun)
- two 22pF capacitors (available @ sparkfun)
- 10 microF electrolytic capacitor
- 1 microF electrolytic capacitor
- 1k resistor and 1 LED (optional but highly recommended)
- 2N4401 transistor (optional)
- female and male headers (optional)
- 28 pin DIP socket or two 14 pin DIP socket s(optional)
- small breadboard for prototyping (optional)

The electronics components can also be obtained from www.digikey.com or www.mouser.com

Tools and supplies you may need
-soldering iron
-hot glue gun
-news paper
-masking tape
-wire strippers etc.
<p>Hi, erm - can't see the link to build one...</p>
<p>The steps are listed in the instructable, have you gone through all the steps?</p>
Excelent first instructable! thanks for your initiative! Keep going with inovative ideas! Congratulatios, again! ;)
great idea
i would personally go with a smaller more compact version of this, but the ears would most likely be mounted by straps.
I was a bit sad not to find this ending up with a 'DareDevil' type visual output.<br /> <br /> On a DareDevil theme, have you heard about this boy???<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1218291/Blind-boy-7-Briton-able-ears.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1218291/Blind-boy-7-Briton-able-ears.html</a>
<p>Whats the point of the ears and goggles? looks a range finder module&nbsp;running&nbsp;the manufactures sample code.<br /> <br /> I was expecting something cool like converting the Ultrasound ping data into a visual medium.</p>
Very cool
hey i dont know anything about aruduino programmed atmega8 please let me know about it....or refer me related website... thanks......by the way ur project is just awsome.
See my previous comment about the Arduino. Here is another website that sells a similar board. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.techsouls.com/.">http://www.techsouls.com/.</a><br/><br/>In this project I use an Atmega8 that is pre-programmed with the Arduino bootloader. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8846.">http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8846.</a> If you have access to a ATMEGA programmer you can load the bootloader yourself. www.arduino.cc<br/>
hi ! i want to make such goggles for my final year project... i wanna know that if its components are easily available in indian market? please let me know.... thanks
I am sure most of the parts should be available or could be shipped to India. You could use a different ultrasonic sensor and any version of the Arduino microcontroller.<br/><br/>This site seems to have some Arduino clones in India: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.bhasha.co.cc/">http://www.bhasha.co.cc/</a><br/>
hey could u please tell me mail me the electric components cause I can't identify the number and models please my e mail is dm_9990@hotmail.com
Wait are you trying to get free components?
which components are you having trouble finding?
i dont know the name in english cause im mexican but mmm the black rectangle and the other thing with 3 legs that is also black but have some metal on top could u please tell me thei name in english and the number please
the black rectangle: [http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8846 ATmega168 with Arduino Bootloader]<br/><br/>or you can use <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=103">any of these arduino boards</a>any of these arduino boards <br/><br/>the one with three legs: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=107">7805 voltage regulator</a><br/><br/>
should make a distance output, firgure out when signals are sent, speed = distance/time, then output distance :)<br/>
convert the beeps into an lcd screen or a set of LEDs and have 1=4m 2=3.5m 3=3m 4=2.5m 5=2m and so on and make it beep fast if your 5-10cm away from something that would make it more awesome and easer to understand<br/>
just fantastic.But I think it would not reach the public. Make it less terrifying
This is exactly the same thing they use for backing up warnings on cars: the closer the car gets to the object the faster the pulse becomes. Things like this that seem useless, usually have practical applications.
Errr blind people... Umm using them in applications where you can't see whats going on like plumbing and working with stuff in walls, these would be cheaper to manufacture that fibre optic micro cameras...
(fibre's whats in your diet ;) ) fiber optic micro cameras are AWESOME!! who cares about the cost! BWAAA
They're not really they're rubbish compared to the wireless spy cams that are almost as compact and much better resolutions, that and you can put them anywhere, I used to know a guy that owned a shop that did all that stuff, we put spy cameras in the most random objects and places just to see if it could be done, the best was adding it to an old slr with the innards gutted to repair another one...
lol ok. yeah ive got a small 2.4 ghz wireless camera with a res of 640x480 (standard tv res) its only the size of a 9v battery. range of 500m (1500ft) los. Could make it smaller if i stripped off the case.
Those are sweet and you can get higher quality ones aswell, they're a great thing for movings stuff and the likes of parachuting and cycling videos...
Run around in public with these on.
the strobe light i wanted is the 2 in 1 strobe led light schematic diagram...
hello... good day.... anybody can give me a schematic diagram of 2 in 1 strobe light with PCB-layout? your help is highly appreciated. thank
I really like this one - Great 'ible. You say the ultrasonic sensor has a (spec.) range of up to 4 metres. Can you get a decent beep-interval change anywhere near this? I've always been disappointed with the range of ultrasonic sensors (although I've not used ones as expensive as yours.)
The ranging of the sensor itself is good, for example, if you have it send the readout to your computer monitor. In terms of the interval change, it becomes much less noticeable due to the mapping that I have used. For purposes of demonstrating the technology I made the mapping work better at closer intervals. If you used a different form of feedback the range would be quite good (something continuous like pitch of a continuous tone, or some kind of display).
If you've got a potential range like that, I think you do need a long and short range signalling as other people are suggesting. For long range, how about counting feet in base 5, indicated once per second? Low beep for the fives, high beep for units, so twelve feet would be 'brr brr bip bip', eight feet would be 'brr bip bip bip'. For less than three feet, either rising tone or increasing rate pulses as discussed. I think you could get used to that with a bit of practice.
In another comment you mention the spread of the signal. Wouldn't a short cardboard tube or cone on the sensor allow you to pick up signals more selectively (with the loss of some sensitivity). This may give a better indication of objects directly in front of you, rather than trying to cover your full optical field of view.
Interesting suggestion about the ranges. That might work well.<br/><br/>Here is the spread of the signal from <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.robot-electronics.co.uk/htm/srf05tech.htm">http://www.robot-electronics.co.uk/htm/srf05tech.htm</a><br/><br/>I haven't tested using a cone to narrow a signal, but I think it might just confuse the sensor because the &quot;pings&quot; would reflect off the inside of the cone.<br/>
Good point. I remember the microwave antennas I used to deal with had RF absorbing material in the horns. For ultrasonics, I suppose the equivalent would be a fuzzy felt material.
wow very cool I'm going to give you a vote!
Ok so I have no idea what i'm talking about, but I hope I can inspire someone...<br/><br/>Imagine this concept with multiple &quot;ears&quot; and only one output. Each &quot;ear&quot; had its own area it would be sensitive to, and then instead of beeps it would come out as different colors on a lcd screen. Each &quot;ear&quot; would make a pixel so you could &quot;See&quot; distances. The more &quot;ears&quot; the less pixelated it would be.<br/><br/>ORR have multiple &quot;Ears&quot; listing for specific audio phenomon, One for listing for amout of sound reflected-indicating texture or matieral of surface(cloth or tissue reflecting less than solid surface)- and another for sensing increased or decreased frequencies- indicating movement. In this senario, distance could be light and dark, movement would be indicated in colors. a wall far away= faint and dim, a ball bouncing t'wards you would be a bright red circle, and it bouncing away would be a darker blue circle.<br/>
To bad we don't have hollow jaws like dolphins. If a ultra sound version with LCD goggles could be made it would be cool.
Would it be possible to use the "ultrasonic" for ppl who don't see/don't have good eye?
Lidar or a small-scale radar (or a combination of all these would probably be best).... Then integrate them into a usable system, so that there is a fail-over backup/redundance, create an AI or algorithm to combine those signals, then get a good UI for it so that use is essentially first-nature (You don't want obstacle avoidance to be second nature really)... At which point it might be worth your while to just skip it and go for cybernetic ocular implants. A really problem with using an ultrasonic ranging system would probably be that the system would be very susceptible to environmental changes (air density and conduction of sound affected by temperature, moisture, etc) and the system may not be accurate enough for something so important.
Check this out: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.break.com/index/truly_amazing_blind_kid.html">http://www.break.com/index/truly_amazing_blind_kid.html</a><br/><br/>This kid uses his own ultrasonic system! No hardware required.<br/>
O_O... that's ridiculous... and awesome... it's Ridiculously Awesome!!! Reminds me of Toph from Avatar... only this kid is for real. (although that "this is a fire hydrant... etc." might be a little bit cheated as he's familiar with that environment)
it's not ultrasonic, just sonic he has to hear the echo to "see"
Correct! You got me fair and square. ;)
He uses his clicking in unfamiliar environments, as well. It really is quite amazing and gives you an idea of the potential and flexibility of the human brain. Oh, and before someone comments, it is a MYTH that we only use 10% of our brain. We use pretty much all of it.
Interesting idea indeed.
This is a great science demonstration project. I am always very interested in making the connection between nature and scientific principles. Unfortunately, as a full-time designer, I simply don't have the time to fab one. Can you donate one to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum? My kids would love it. Please, please, pretty please with LEDs on top. ;) Seriously, you have a nice project here. David

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